My life is not a constant rerun of changing diapers and cleaning up spilled baby food anymore. It’s not dealing with the nightmare of switching to a toddler bed or wondering about the effects of birth order parenting. My life is now full of hours of homework, endless trips to soccer practice, and the Common Core. In fact, my son has shown me a thing or two on PowerPoint and recently told me, “I think I’m going to make a Prezi for my next presentation mom – you can do so much more with it than PowerPoint.” He’s in third grade.
He is a whiz when it comes to Minecraft and he loves cloud computing; when he has difficulty with something, he asks me if there’s an app for that. His nightly homework features structural analysis and math requires performing a partial sums algorithm. What?
We’re at the lovely parenting stage where he begins to question my parenting. “Well, so-and-so had Instagram since second grade and so-and-so has seen THAT movie. Why can’t I?” Because I’m your mother and I said no. The end. But next week, it will be something new – the part where parenthood requires more conversation and explanation; the part that means there are going to be many tough days ahead and my kids may not always agree with me. They will constantly share notes with their friends and see what they can get away with – and it’s my job to stay true to my convictions regardless of what the majority is doing. Motherhood is not one size fits all, remember?
My daughter is coming home with stories about some of the other kids – and some of the mean things they say. Mean girls – it doesn’t start it high school people, it begins in first grade. First grade. My daughter is also growing up in a digital world and doesn’t know anything different. She is accustomed to instant gratification and this is one aspect I wish I could change but have very little control over.
A decade of motherhood also requires more “grown-up” stuff. When we first had babies, buying a new car and purchasing a home were the big grown-up ticket items. My world consisted of numerous trips to Home Depot and glamorous Saturday nights were spent shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond. Now, our grown-up stuff consists of beneficiaries, life insurance, living wills, and saving for college. That’s right – our son will be off to college in a mere eight years which in parenthood time is like, tomorrow.
My Dad turns 70 this year, my husband turns 40 and I am quickly close behind him; our parents have aged and we’ve noticed little things that we didn’t see even five years ago. They walk a little slower, they awake with new aches and pains and they always seem to have a doctor’s appointment. They are no longer chasing grandbabies and babysitting every weekend; their oldest granddaughter is headed to college in one year and their youngest is my youngest – 6 going on 16. There are no lullabies to sing at night, no more walks in the park, or races on the beach. They are losing their hair and sometimes don’t remember what you told them yesterday. Everything changes.
I never thought of my parents getting older, even though I knew it would happen. But now, they are resembling more and more like my own grandparents, and that to me is scary.
When the pizza delivery boy shows up at my house, I’m almost old enough to be his mom; I have tons of laugh wrinkles on my face and crows feet around my eyes when I smile. My hair is thinning and my husband is greyer than ever before and I often wonder, how did we get here?
A decade of parenting.
When I started this blog six years ago, I was in the trenches of new motherhood. I had an infant baby girl and a little toddler boy. Somehow, my world seemed less complicated than it does now. In addition to raising kids, I am contending with that grown-up stuff and trying to stop the ever-so-quickly aging process.
As I approach my birthday next month, I am going to hold onto my thirties as long as I can.
Because a decade of motherhood – and everything changes.